Man, did I need that long weekend. It managed to be long enough for me to fully disconnect from work and the everyday stresses of life, and it helped that we went away for a night. We went to Connecticut to stay with family and enjoy a Memorial Day barbecue. On Sunday, we drove the hour and a half to the coast, discovering a new beach town that we had never been to before. It is called Watch Hill, in Rhode Island, and it is an adorable little town with a lovely beach, and we very much enjoyed our day there. The water was sooooo cold, but it didn't prevent the boys from having a blast jumping in the waves. The weather was beautiful, with a hot sun and cool breeze; and it felt great to relax with my feet in the sand. The restorative power of the beach never fails.
May 27, 2016
Loving my time in the dugout with these boys
Baseball - These seven-year-old Giants, Aaron's AAA Braves, and our Boston Red Sox: I love watching my boys play. The smell of lilacs in the yard. Our first 90-degree day. Homemade popsicles. Seeing Aaron up on stage, being recognized as a standard bearer for his school. The complete lineup for Newport. Sleeping with the windows open. Sleep. A clean kitchen sink. Flowers on the table. Talking and laughing with friends. Piano recitals. Dinner from the grill. Patience. My new bike!
May 20, 2016
Dear Mr. You, by Mary-Louise Parker. I very much enjoyed this memoir. It has a very unique structure: each chapter is written as a letter from Mary-Louise to a man in her life. The first chapter is a letter to her father. It has chapters to everyone including friends, former lovers, the father of her adopted daughter, and her accountant. They are all revealing in their own way and to different degrees. They are funny and moving and sad and beautiful. Highly recommend.
The Legends Club, by John Feinstein. I read this in March, during the college basketball tournament, and it was fun to immerse myself in college basketball - past and present - for the month. I wish Dean had been alive to share more of his own stories and perspectives, but it is a great book nonetheless. I had fun learning more about these great coaches and fascinating men.
A Window Opens, by Elizabeth Egan. I didn't like this book at first. It felt too true to real life, and specifically, my own life. I usually read to escape or to learn or expand upon what I experience in my own life, so I didn't appreciate this right away. However, once I got more into it, I was able to enjoy and appreciate it. It's definitely relatable for any working mom.
May 18, 2016
I don't handle things well when life gets too busy. I'm not as patient, I'm not as kind, I'm not as happy. Even when all the "busy-ness" is great stuff. Even when I'm focused on fun and important things. I end up ignoring other items, and life can get out of whack very quickly. And then I end up snapping at people because the kitchen counters aren't clean or socks are on the floor and "will you please just brush your teeth already!?!"...
Spring is a crazy time of year. I knew it would be hectic due to both boys playing baseball and soccer. However, I don't think we recognized or anticipated the other events taking place. My work has been demanding, particularly since I received a promotion. Kevin's has been busy as it always is, and he has also started traveling more again. And then we have the usual end-of-the-school-year activities. Field trips, piano recitals, portfolio days...
I am not complaining, because it's all great. I just have to figure out how to enjoy it all more thoroughly. I'm trying to get enough sleep, which at this point means going to bed shortly after the boys. I'm trying to get more (or at least consistent) exercise, too, which means getting up early. I've been trying to alternate sleep days vs. exercise days during the week - it's been working the last couple weeks. Five-minute meditations are never not worthwhile. I've also been working to keep the house in some sort of order. A messy kitchen makes for a very grumpy Mary.
May 6, 2016
May 4, 2016
My sister-in-law, Claudia, has a rare condition that, over time, has caused damage to her liver. She had been placed on the transplant list and was patiently waiting for a match. As we were leaving for the airport to head to Florida a couple weeks ago, I received an email from my brother: they found a liver! As we were traveling and having fun on our vacation, Claudia was undergoing transplant surgery. Needless to say, she and my brother and their three children were constantly on my mind.
Thankfully, the surgery was a great success, and Claudia is recovering at home with her new liver. I'm so thankful for the wonderful medical care she has received, and I'm also grateful to the family who decided to donate a loved one's organs.
I have always maintained the position that my body should be donated for either transplant or research. My mom set an example by telling us she was planning on donating her body to a medical school after her death. What an amazing way to contribute to humanity! My family has always known my wishes, but Claudia's recent journey as a transplant recipient has brought the topic to the forefront of our minds. We've had the conversations again, and I've confirmed that I'm registered as a donor in my state.
My brother recently shared the following TED talk. It's incredibly powerful. I'm in awe of this woman, who was able to find wonderful meaning in her son's extremely short life. It's only 10 minutes - watch it, and be moved. And then if you're not already, think about becoming a donor yourself.